Efficient Operations are Critical to Scaling Business
Matt Goebel, a multi-unit franchisee and the founder and CEO of Woven, shares the importance of efficient operations and why they are critical.
Is it easier to scale a gym/fitness business from one to two locations, five to 10, or 150 to 200? Each stage of business growth comes with different advantages and challenges, but one constant is how operational efficiency is affecting the business’ ability to scale.
Early on in growth, owners and operators can muscle through inefficiencies with long hours and endless optimism to keep growing. As growth continues, inefficiencies start to push back until finally slowing or stopping growth all together. These inefficiencies build on each other over time, but most organizations only realize this is happening when it’s too late. Instead of consistently scaling as they had hoped, they are talking about the “good ole days” and wondering why they can’t manage additional growth.
Here’s why. While they were scaling their business, they were also scaling their inefficiencies. A minor operational inefficiency at one location grows into a time-sucking growth inhibitor when replicated across dozens of locations and more importantly, its people.
The Solution in Question
A common response to these growth pains is to implement a quick solution. Managing equipment getting difficult? Find an asset management tool. Employee scheduling on Excel not working? Use a scheduling software. Tired of receiving hundreds of messages on your phone from employees? Purchase a communication tool. Sounds simple enough and on the surface, the pain is relieved, growth continues. It must be working well, right?
Unfortunately, it’s not that easy. While immediate pains are relieved, the business is slowly building new inefficiencies because oftentimes, these solutions don’t effectively work together. By the time a business reaches five, six or seven different software tools to manage operations, they end up complicating an already complicated business need. Eventually, the administrative effort to maintain each solution, the complexities it creates when training new employees, and more, creates inefficiencies that hinder business success over time.
The Effective Solution
Successful multi-location businesses across all industries, but especially in the gym/fitness space, rely on consistency of operations, guest experience and a reproducible environment in which employees can thrive. When the systems put in place overwhelm instead of empower, employees and locations start to digress, breaking down operational consistency and ultimately impacting the guest experience. Centralizing critical processes into a single platform for workplace functionality is key to driving accountability, consistency and productivity.
Instead of leaning on a patchwork of solutions that grow inefficiencies over time, fitness businesses seeking to scale rapidly must take the time to find a more comprehensive platform that works for your specific business model and solves multiple operational pain points — communicating and managing employees, maintaining facilities and equipment, and more. Consolidate and collaborate to create shared accountability across locations. Success and scaling is bound to follow.